7 Years ago, I was just becoming internet literate. My husband used online scrabble to get me into using the net. I loved scrabble. I had been playing scrabble with a few folks online, but didn't know them, nor had I spoken to anyone....I didn't even know there was a chat button.(pre spark people days) Suddenly one day, a man called Eric asked where I was from?
I panicked and replied that I was from planet earth....and himself? He found this hugely amusing and has teased me ever since and my nickname is now PE (planet earth) on our scrabble games.
So imagine my surprise when recently he let me know that he, his wife, his brother and his brothers wife were all coming to SA for a visit. He asked if I lived anywhere near Durban, their first point of call, or the Garden Route their second visiting area? Well, that IS where I live so we exchanged contact details and I got to meet them on Wednesday morning. They are from Manchester and all in their late 70's. I thought I was the only one nervous about internet meetings.....yet they say their kids were mad at them with worry over who I might be? LOL Needless to say, we had a great hour together and exchanged many stories of their lives back home, their holiday here etc. Eric and I have several similarities. Both of our spouses names begin with J (Justin and Jeanette), both of us love scrabble, our spouses do not. His wife has two girls from a previous marriage, but no kids of their own.....same with Justin and I.
Quite amazing actually.
I will probably never see them ever again, but I'm glad we got this one brief chance. I've heard it said that a stranger is merely a friend you have not met yet......sometimes that is true, and sometimes not, I have a feeling this time it worked that way.
Erics last msg to me for directions to our coffee meeting spot was that I was not to fear an abduction from them, they were friendly aliens. LOL My reply was that I would be bringing a bodyguard in the form of my 3yr old grandson. Anyone brave enough to abduct a woman with a toddler, deserved what they got. LOL
From left to right:
John (Erics brother) my mother, Johns wife, Jeanette (Erics wife), Eric, myself, Cole and Axel. Justin took the photo...therefore not in it.
While I thoroughly enjoyed my outing, it seems to have worn these two out.
Since it was Cole's last day of his annual leave, and we were babysitting Axel for Daniel who was working, he decided we should take Axel to the beach. We chose Victoria Bay because it has a protected beach area as well as a lovely paved area that Axel could ride his scooter along.
Well that was the plan, made before we discovered the heat wave we have been experiencing had caused the paving to heat up so drastically, Axel could not put his feet down.
Luckily Cole had beach sandals on and towed Axel along.
We passed this amazing tree with its roots outside the ground.
The roots are so big, look at them compared to the car parked beside the tree. Crazy.
We walked right to the end, called Lands End, and then Cole climbed to the top of the crags.
I was amazed to see Axel go with him. There was a time Axel was so afraid of heights that his mother could not even change him on the changing tables in the nursery facility at the mall. She had to lie him on a blanket on the floor. So this is a major improvement.
He wasn't even concerned with the coming down process.
Relaxed enough to point out something he saw, in the sea to Cole.
Once down, he started a search for some flowers to pick.
These little white ones had thorns, so he had to leave them.
After several attempts, he found some little wild yellow ground cover which he could reach.
"Here granny" - don't you just love this age when their little hearts are so generous...even with other peoples flowers. LOL
The paving was still hot, so we took Axel down to the beach where the two of them had a load of fun. I stayed at the rocks on the hard soil, because I had stepped into a hole at boot camp that morning and wrenched my knee. I didn't want to put anymore strain on the knee.
I managed to take photo's from where I sat on the rocks. For a guy who swears off having kids of his own...I think he did a fine job keeping his little nephew entertained.
Axel had loads of fun riding his favorite toy, his scooter on the beach.
Lucky for him, his uncle was just a few paces behind, so when the tide come rushing in with an unexpected BIG wave, he was able to lift Axel up...just in time.....
But not in time to save the scooter being taken away. Fortunately the tide was coming in and not going out, so the scooter washed into an alcove of rocks which meant we didn't lose the precious toy. I got soaked right up to my knees....luckily I did not get my camera wet.
Axel has a huge blow up whale at home which he called Dotty....don't ask my, I have no idea why that name??? He plays with his Dotty in the garden, jumping all over the hard plastic whale...such fun....so he was excited to see someone else with a dotty at the beach. Cole asked the kid for a ride for Axel, but thankfully Axel did not want to when I saw how the tide was tossing this big teenager around on his Dotty.
Axels second best toys are his collection of dino's so it was great to find one of the mechanical rides at the beach was a dino....pity it only operates during season. Seems only tourists kids need dino rides LOL. Still, he enjoyed sitting in the dino for a few minutes. His toy dino's are realistic so we had a chuckle when he told Cole....."that's not a dino!"
After spending the afternoon in the sun, we decided to get out of the heat by going to the restaurant for a beer while Axel ate an ice cream. It was covered in some rich chocolate, so it wasn't long before he sported a chocolate beard. The restaurant is a chilled outdoor place under green plastic type roofing...hence the color of the pictures. Axel wasn't green from the excessive ice cream granny allowed him to eat
Mind you, talking about strange colored people, I spotted this guy so WHITE he was GREY. I have never seen anyone quite this shade of grey. Seriously folks, I think he must have something wrong with his kidneys or something.
It took us longer to drink our beer than it took Axel to eat his ice cream and it wasn't long before he started trying to amuse us by placing the plastic menu on his head.
"Look granny, no hands!" Usually we don't allow him to play with the menu's, sugar bowls etc but this is a really chilled out place and I had to admire his balancing skills.
So our Wednesday together came to an end, with Axel in a bubble bath and the adults all sitting around a fire chatting, looking at photo's and eating Chinese take outs.
As Cole said, a far cry from how he originally planned his vacation which turned into a staycation. At this point I must tell you how PROUD I AM OF MY SONS AND NIKKI, Cole's girlfriend. These young people are not monied people and they had saved and scrimped all year long saving for their vacation this past month.
Sadly we recently had a huge drama with one of our friends. A young wife walked out on her husband of 7 yrs....1 month before her husbands brothers wedding. She left him for the guy she had an affair with once before, but was forgiven at the time. The morning she left, she also cleaned out her husbands account that had the money for their flights, champagne costs and outfits for the wedding. They have no time to make up the money again. The brother getting married works as a voluntary missionary so he cannot help financially either. My kids heard about this and FUNDED the whole thing in the blink of an eye....forgoing their own annual holiday savings to do so. I was blown away. I told them that nothing so generous goes unrewarded and if not by people, Jehovah God certainly saw their big, warm, generous hearts.
I did everything in my power to make their staycation a wonderful, happy occasion. My sons, and Nikki never once referred to "wishing" they had gone away. They just donated the money and went on with their lives. WOW.